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DTF mini shaker powdering and curing issues


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It looks like there are going to be a lot of kinks to figure out when buying the cheaper equipment for DTF.

I'm having 2 issues suddenly:

1. About an inch of each side of an A3 size roll doesn't heat up enough. The powder is a bit harder but not cured enough. I looked up at the heating bulbs and it does look like a good amount on the sides just don't heat up. Is there anything I can possibly do about this? At the moment, only about 9 inches in the center of the design cures properly (when the film is centered). I currently have it set at 110 C and each print takes an average of 4 minutes to go through.

2. I'm getting powder sticking to the edges of the film. When heat pressing it, it leaves a square on the shirt and it won't really come off unless I press it longer and multiple times (bad ones don't go away at all). I have the shaker smacking it hard so I'm not sure why this would happen. Anyone experience this?

I'm aware only a few people on here have a shaker but I figure it might help everyone reading about the issues I'm going through.

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6 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

It looks like there are going to be a lot of kinks to figure out when buying the cheaper equipment for DTF.

I'm having 2 issues suddenly:

1. About an inch of each side of an A3 size roll doesn't heat up enough. The powder is a bit harder but not cured enough. I looked up at the heating bulbs and it does look like a good amount on the sides just don't heat up. Is there anything I can possibly do about this? At the moment, only about 9 inches in the center of the design cures properly (when the film is centered). I currently have it set at 110 C and each print takes an average of 4 minutes to go through.

2. I'm getting powder sticking to the edges of the film. When heat pressing it, it leaves a square on the shirt and it won't really come off unless I press it longer and multiple times (bad ones don't go away at all). I have the shaker smacking it hard so I'm not sure why this would happen. Anyone experience this?

I'm aware only a few people on here have a shaker but I figure it might help everyone reading about the issues I'm going through.

So I’ll kind of answer with my view and experiences. 

yours first issue-

1. I want to make sure this mini shaker is on a dedicated 20 amp outlet. voltage sag can and will cause this issue. It might sound stupid,  but it doesn’t necessarily have to blow the breaker to be underpowered a bit. A 15 amp outlet would work, but the voltage sag likely from the lower gauge wire can cause issues. 
 

2. the heating elements could just be crap, I’ve read this in a few places. It seems to be hit or miss, like a quality control problem. 
 

NOTE: along my journey with them, i made several adjustments I will outline below. I did it to my liking, so I just always seen it as “I’m picky” instead of A fix. 
 

3. I purchased a metal plate from ebay. It was cut to size and like $50 for two ( since I had planned on two mini shakers). Anyway, I placed the metal plate under the film curing tray. My idea, it would pre heat the unit and cause the bottom to retain heat, making the temperature more consistent while heating from both sides. This helped my edge curing problem. Those heating elements cycle, from insanely hot to cool in a matter of seconds. 
 

4. I adjusted the thermostat. They need “auto tune” ran honestly. So basically I set up the fan as needed, and everything the way it should be to operate. I then set the controller to auto tune. This tells the machine how to heat the element to get the desired temperature. THEN I further modified the settings so the heating elements cycled for a max of 12 seconds on, because if not it would make my film get too hot. So every 12 seconds it cycled off and waited a ( set amount) of time before cycling on again. Any changes in fan speed, you’ll need to do it again because that air cools the area really fast, so it needs to know that. 
 

5. the powder sticking to your film would be unrelated to the mini shaker UNLESS it’s not slapping the edges. I’ve had good and bad film. Some the powder sticks to like crazy, some works perfect. Obviously I use the film that works. It’s also possible of static, but that could be fixed with a metal rod at the film roll before it goes into the printer. 
 

6. you can test this by cutting a 2-3ft long section and run it through your powder manually and see if it sticks. My film looked perfect, until you ran it through powder. It was an issue with the film, and I did get a partial refund over it. If it’s not that, then I have no idea. 
 

7. the new mini shaker I received, the bolts on the silicone slapper was not tight  at all, so it was curved, making weird contact with the film. I tightened them all so it would be almost flat like the other mini shaker. 
 

The main issue here is the different revisions and poor QC. I would try added that metal plate and auto tuning your machine. I run mine at 212F, but it runs about every 2 minutes, so much faster than 4 minutes per design. I’ll send a photo in a bit of what I did. 

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On 10/20/2021 at 12:08 PM, johnson4 said:

Like this for the sheet metal. 

A6262BD5-8903-4E84-80A4-3E788374D2C7.jpeg

Hmm I thought the metal that came with my machine would be sufficient for heat. Mine has slanted ends, not flat so I would have to completely scrap it if I were to buy new sheet metal. Do you think one like this would be sufficient: https://www.ebay.com/itm/393504388377

I'll have to figure out how to get it cut because my curing area is about 15" x 12", so that's another obstacle.

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2 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Hmm I thought the metal that came with my machine would be sufficient for heat. Mine has slanted ends, not flat so I would have to completely scrap it if I were to buy new sheet metal. Do you think one like this would be sufficient: https://www.ebay.com/itm/393504388377

I'll have to figure out how to get it cut because my curing area is about 15" x 12", so that's another obstacle.

The original plate stays in place- the thicker metal is placed under it to help retain heat, im holding the original plate up so the other plate can be seen. You just place it under the original. 
 

the guy I bought it from cut it exact to size free of charge. 

Edited by johnson4
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The idea is to have a thick plate under it so it absorbs and retains heat- so it heats more evenly. It fixed my issue with that anyway. I went with the one in the photo. I could have went with thicker material, but I’m cheap and luckily it worked for me, lol.  
 

the plate size for mine was- 15”X 14” 7/8” and it just sits under the original. I just messaged and ask for it to be cut. 

518AA5BB-2F81-41E7-BD2B-6954F30A5CFB.jpeg

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On 10/22/2021 at 4:59 PM, johnson4 said:

The idea is to have a thick plate under it so it absorbs and retains heat- so it heats more evenly. It fixed my issue with that anyway. I went with the one in the photo. I could have went with thicker material, but I’m cheap and luckily it worked for me, lol.  
 

the plate size for mine was- 15”X 14” 7/8” and it just sits under the original. I just messaged and ask for it to be cut. 

518AA5BB-2F81-41E7-BD2B-6954F30A5CFB.jpeg

I'll order the plate (probably ordering 2 and stacking them) and see if this fixes my issue, before I sit down for hours trying to decipher how to do what you said on #4 lol.

I think it does make sense that the heat is being lost. I'm in Illinois and I work in a sunroom...so during the summer it's around 80 degrees in there on average. This past week, it's dropped down much lower so it must be the reason I'm having this issue.

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1 hour ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I'll order the plate (probably ordering 2 and stacking them) and see if this fixes my issue, before I sit down for hours trying to decipher how to do what you said on #4 lol.

I think it does make sense that the heat is being lost. I'm in Illinois and I work in a sunroom...so during the summer it's around 80 degrees in there on average. This past week, it's dropped down much lower so it must be the reason I'm having this issue.

Yea, I notice this issue too when it’s colder, I turn my fan down a bit as well. The plate does help a lot, but cold air whishing in can make it heat irregular. I would lower my vent speed a bit in the winter if possible. 
 

auto tune is built into the temperature controller, at least it is on mine. 
 

what this does is the controller “learns” it’s environment. Any type of element, or situation can be controlled with the same controller.  So I set the fan vent speed, from a cold startup you go into the settings and select auto tune. This teaches the thermostat it’s environment, how quickly it cools, and how to maintain the exact heat. The plates help with this, but would need ran again after adding them. I then tell it to keep the elements on a max of 12 seconds for mine. The heat coming off the coils is WAYY hotter than the set temperature, so if it needs to run for 20 seconds before getting to temperature ( or hitting the stock on time limit) it could be well over 500 degrees right under the element, burning the film. Using 12-13 seconds allows the coils to heat, but not overheat so it cycles more often to prevent film burn. 
 

just look up Rex c-100 auto tune/ manual. 

Edited by johnson4
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On 10/25/2021 at 1:30 PM, johnson4 said:

Yea, I notice this issue too when it’s colder, I turn my fan down a bit as well. The plate does help a lot, but cold air whishing in can make it heat irregular. I would lower my vent speed a bit in the winter if possible. 
 

auto tune is built into the temperature controller, at least it is on mine. 
 

what this does is the controller “learns” it’s environment. Any type of element, or situation can be controlled with the same controller.  So I set the fan vent speed, from a cold startup you go into the settings and select auto tune. This teaches the thermostat it’s environment, how quickly it cools, and how to maintain the exact heat. The plates help with this, but would need ran again after adding them. I then tell it to keep the elements on a max of 12 seconds for mine. The heat coming off the coils is WAYY hotter than the set temperature, so if it needs to run for 20 seconds before getting to temperature ( or hitting the stock on time limit) it could be well over 500 degrees right under the element, burning the film. Using 12-13 seconds allows the coils to heat, but not overheat so it cycles more often to prevent film burn. 
 

just look up Rex c-100 auto tune/ manual. 

I'll look into this tonight

While I wait for the aluminum plates to arrive....can I ask if you have any tips on keeping the film straight on the take up reel? When the film isn't rolling up straight, it causes a slight bend which travels up to the printer, causing the film to hit that metal bracket and ruin the print. It begins to happen after 20+ prints. I tried measuring everything: keeping the printer, shaker, and film aligned but apparently I have to be absolutely 100% perfect.

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39 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I'll look into this tonight

While I wait for the aluminum plates to arrive....can I ask if you have any tips on keeping the film straight on the take up reel? When the film isn't rolling up straight, it causes a slight bend which travels up to the printer, causing the film to hit that metal bracket and ruin the print. It begins to happen after 20+ prints. I tried measuring everything: keeping the printer, shaker, and film aligned but apparently I have to be absolutely 100% perfect.

This- yes. It’s exactly what happened to me. 

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1 hour ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I'll look into this tonight

While I wait for the aluminum plates to arrive....can I ask if you have any tips on keeping the film straight on the take up reel? When the film isn't rolling up straight, it causes a slight bend which travels up to the printer, causing the film to hit that metal bracket and ruin the print. It begins to happen after 20+ prints. I tried measuring everything: keeping the printer, shaker, and film aligned but apparently I have to be absolutely 100% perfect.

I laser cut some guides for the take up roller. Fixed the issue entirely. 

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10 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Are those circular acrylic things on your second post in this thread the guides? Do they just sit along the sides of the film and that fixed it all?

Yea, you just need something to guide it onto the roll. I call it “ walking” when the film goes back and forth on the roll, causing the issues make the guides the edge of the roll- boom. Problem solved. Cardboard would probably work well too.
 

When I make a set for the new mini shaker ( they are different of course) I can send you wood ones as well, or acrylic for a cost if needed. 
 

yea. Most things have simple answers, they just usually aren’t pretty. It’s the first thing I tried and worked fine for me. Maybe there is something else, I don’t know, but that’s what I did to make it stop. 

Edited by johnson4
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On 10/27/2021 at 12:15 AM, johnson4 said:

Yea, you just need something to guide it onto the roll. I call it “ walking” when the film goes back and forth on the roll, causing the issues make the guides the edge of the roll- boom. Problem solved. Cardboard would probably work well too.
 

When I make a set for the new mini shaker ( they are different of course) I can send you wood ones as well, or acrylic for a cost if needed. 
 

yea. Most things have simple answers, they just usually aren’t pretty. It’s the first thing I tried and worked fine for me. Maybe there is something else, I don’t know, but that’s what I did to make it stop. 

I swear man...I'm going to send some money over to you. You've done a lot to help. Most of what you've explained on this forum, nobody talks about anywhere else. I owe you big time.

The film doesn't wrap too tightly and straight but it at least stays centered.

IMG_0742.jpg

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  • 3 months later...
11 minutes ago, jkwilmore32 said:

So, the film seems to be rolling too quickly. It becomes tight throughout the shaker and pulls powder into the heat press. I have to manually give it slack over and over. Any thoughts/suggestions? 

Is this on a mini shaker? IF so, See if the sensor has a green/red light on it. If it does, clean the face of the sensor. If not, Check your relay for the take up motor. 

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  • 1 month later...

So I ran into an issue last night after a year of heavy use in this mini shaker. 
 

2 bulbs continue to function as normal. 
 

one bulb heats up much faster, and much hotter. It’s starting to glow “like the sun” instantly where the other two just have a red glow after 2-3 seconds. The other two are normal. 
 

im assuming this bulb is on the way out.
 

Ironically just three days prior I found the manufacturer for this exact shaker and had ordered another mini shaker just like it and 2 spare bulbs. 
 

the one single bulb is causing so many issues, inconsistent temps, burning the film,  all sorts of issues. I may have to disable it and hope the other two will work for now.
 

Since these are a specific voltage and wattage, I can’t just go replacing one without knowing what it is.
 

From my amperage tests they average about 200W each at 220V. which I can’t find anywhere the whole heating unit pulls about 600W 220V across all three bulbs. 

 

good news is the round bulbs this one uses are $8 direct from the seller. Bad news that’s in China and this is my only half functioning shaker. 

 

anyway- if someone else runs across needing a new Mini shaker bulb- maybe what I post here will help when I am finished and it’s fully functioning again.
 

 

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My shaker suddenly wont heat past 23 

How on earth do I go about troubleshooting this? I have found nothing so far. I was sent a spare bulb at purchase. HelP!

summer@craftedintheloo.com

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2 minutes ago, summer said:

My shaker suddenly wont heat past 23 

How on earth do I go about troubleshooting this? I have found nothing so far. I was sent a spare bulb at purchase. HelP!

summer@craftedintheloo.com

Check your relay. 

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